Home Selling 101: Three Indispensable Tips in Writing Compelling Real Estate Facebook Ads

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“If you are selling real estate and you are awake, you are doing well.”-Brad Inman

 

It is a known fact that most individuals are on Facebook nowadays, as a real estate agent, you should know how to capitalize on that phenomenon.

As a real estate agent, you should be aware that success is not only hinged on selling properties. Know that to be an effective realtor, you need to develop other key areas in your job description such as the ability to generate leads and create captivating marketing campaigns. In fact, it has been shown that riveting and catchy marketing campaigns are paramount when it comes to a successful sale—particularly in a competitive industry such as real estate. After all, how can you reasonably sell a house if you cannot generate a lead to sell it to?

With the internet giving everyone the ease of access to perhaps everything under the sun, know that it would be a very much heavily-relied tool in generating leads. Decades ago, real estate agents had virtually nothing like the internet and had to rely on networking around the town and posting ads wherever possible to generate a lead. Today, this strategy is rendered obsolete and ineffective. With social networking juggernauts in the equation, this kind of strategy does not just quite make the cut. After all, most people would be glued to their phones 24/7, do you really expect them to notice the print ads you would be posting all over town?

In any case, if you want to capture leads in this technologically fixated and advanced world, you need to adapt. How do you do this? Take your business to social media, of course! Of the social media trifecta, Facebook is the most versatile and the most widely used which means that you might be able to generate better leads using this medium. However, you cannot just rely on peppering your followers’ news feeds with ads, you need to create ads that tick, captivate and create interest. As Facebook is primarily a visual tool, your targeting options are rather linear insomuch that it would allow you to delineate the kind of market you want to reach—whether that may be prospective homebuyers looking for a 1br condo for rent in Makati to a unit in Avida Towers Centera. Now that we have illustrated all that, how do you create an attractive Facebook ad? Read on below to find out

 

Use Targeting Option

It is an established fact that among all social networks, Facebook remains to be the most popular. But apart from its widespread use, Facebook is the perfect adverting medium as it allows you to get extremely detailed in targeting your audience. If you have already delineated the goals of your campaign, you can then use Facebook’s targeting options to refine your audience. Be precise about your targeting so that you are guaranteed to show your ads to the appropriate audience.

Utilize Video

With the unparalleled prowess of technology nowadays, you can even stage a home tour without requiring your target audience to be in your property for the showing. Simply use a video recorder and give a guided tour of your house. Taking videos of your property is definitely an excellent way to get the upper hand in the real estate game considering that this technique is rather underutilized. Moreover, most prospective homebuyers would be more receptive to ads with videos as pictures are known to be deceiving. In this regard, you ought to start catching up as well and utilize videos in your ads.

Be transparent

An effective real estate agent, as well as a successful one, knows that they should capitalize on building trust. In this regard, you ought to be transparent with your leads and potential clients. Remember, people who are making a potentially huge financial decision (as well as a personal one) would want to transact business only with a trustworthy individual. While trust can be rather difficult to establish nowadays, know that you can make a good start by being transparent with your ads. In this regard, your potential homebuyers would know that what they see is what they would get and they would never feel like they are being deceived. In the creation of a Facebook ad, be realistic about the imagery and direct in your ad copy. Let the prospective buyer know what they would be getting into and exactly what is included in the deal. Be detailed about your listing and include pertinent information from the price down to the number of bedrooms.

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Home Buying: Five Things to Know As a First Time Homebuyer

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“The ache for a home lives in all of us, the safe place where we go as we are and not be questioned.”-Maya Angelou

 

The prospect of buying your first home can be rather exciting, albeit a little daunting.

However, this endeavor is often fraught with difficulties if you are unaware of what it entails and what you should prepare for. Undoubtedly, the process will likely be overwhelming, however, when done right, you would not only be putting your money down on an excellent investment but you would also end up with a home you will be happy to live in for quite a long while. Furthermore, knowing what you want mitigates the likelihood of buyer’s remorse which is why it is always wise to review your options before pushing through with a deal.

In any case, if you are prepared to find the home of your dreams—whether that may be a unit in the East Gallery Place or a residential place elsewhere, here are some of the things you ought to know to minimize the likelihood of surprises when you do finally affix your signature on that contract:

 

Make sure to have room in your budget for transitional costs

Before you even shop around for homes, it is recommended that you set a budget of how much you are willing to pay for in a home. However, apart from budgeting for the property itself, you would also need to prepare for the transitional costs it entails. Remember, you still have expenses to cover on top of your mortgage so you need to adequately budget for that as well. Set a budget for the unexpected and have a plan for the allocation of the same. The earlier you plan, the less likely you will have any financial snags on top of your big investment so if you are already planning on shopping for homes, start creating your budget plan today.

Working with a good agent is paramount

Many homeowners think that home buying is an endeavor they can pull off by themselves. While they are right, going on about the house hunt and deal by yourself tends to slow down your pace and would take you a lot longer to find a place of your own at the price you can afford. Working with an agent who would be able to assist and guide you throughout the entire process would ensure that not only would you find the property you want but at the right price as well. In this time and age, the internet is at your disposal so use it to your advantage and find an agent who you think can work best to fit your needs. However, do not just arbitrarily go with anyone. Do not risk it and only select the best agent who has the expertise and comes highly recommended as well.

Determine if the price is right

More often than not, the prospect of living in our dream homes can cloud our judgment insomuch that we are willing to go beyond our budget because we are very much taken by a beautiful home. However, take the sparkles off of your eyes and check if your finances are in order before making an offer. Calculate your debt to income ratio and make sure that is manageable and is within rich. At the time, you might feel like you can make it work and that buying a home out of your budget would ultimately pay off. But, remember, paying a mortgage that is too high might end up being a financial encumbrance and would ruin your overall satisfaction and happiness in your investment. After all, just because you can borrow a certain amount to buy a more expensive home does not mean that you should.

Know the potential

First-time home buyers tend to go into the endeavor without managing their expectations which means they would likely disqualify homes that do not tick off all the boxes in their needs and wants list. However, these unrealistic expectations can deter you in the long run as demanding too much of your first home would often mean missing out on the subtle charms it already has as well as its hidden potential. For the littlest and tiniest imperfections, look for ways on how you can improve it instead of dismissing it right away.

Research the neighborhood

More often than not, a home’s location is so much more important than the home itself. In this regard, you ought to find a home that is located in a safe neighborhood that is in proximity to educational institutions as well as commercial establishments and shopping centers. Do not zero your focus on the home alone and look for one that is located in a great neighborhood as well. Choose a neighborhood with a strong sense of community and is safe and secure.

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Smart Home Buying: Negotiating Tips and Techniques Every Homebuyer Must Know

 

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“In business as in life—you do not get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” –Chester L. Karrass

 

It has never been any question whether real estate is a good investment, it has long been considered a given.

However, considering that real estate property might be one of the biggest investments you would probably make in life, it is imperative that you go approach the endeavor with much contemplation and shrewdness. In this regard, selecting a property is in by no means a task you should treat arbitrarily—you need to weight your options insomuch that you can find a property that is not only suitable to your lifestyle but comes at the best price and terms as well. After all, an old adage in real estate is that everything is negotiable. But, just how much is your prospective willing to compromise? Furthermore, do you possess the necessary skills to bring the agreement equally in your and the seller’s favor?

Buying a home does not only mean scoring the best property available, but it also means getting it at the best price possible as well. However, negotiating is a rather tricky skill that is refined over years of experience. Furthermore, it requires a great deal of knowing when to start the negotiations, how to push for more and when you should stop. In conjunction with all those, you would need to possess a shrewd skill in researching the real estate market plus a commitment to being familiar with your prospective property’s neighborhood. Take note: The more properties there are than people who want them, the better your chances in a successful negotiation are. And in this case, homebuyers have more leverage over the home prices which would then create an excellent avenue for negotiation on some homes.

Unfortunately, most homebuyers are unaware of their haggling options. Consequently, opportunities for negotiations are left unexplored when they should have been capitalized. To ensure you get the best deal possible for the prospective homes you are considering—whether that may be a condo for sale in Quezon City or elsewhere—take a gander at your options for negotiating. In any case, here are some of the techniques and tips you should never miss as a homebuyer:

 

Get an agent

As a buyer, you may have a little breathing room when it comes to the purchase of real estate property. But, that does not automatically mean that you are in the driver’s seat and can dictate the terms of how the sale would go. Unfortunately, with property listings available online, many homebuyers fall into a false sense of security and would think that real estate agents are unnecessary. Sure, you might find a house online but that does not guarantee you can actually get that offer to close.

Put your finances in order

Your offer would be so much more persuasive if it holds more weight. In this regard, you should get yourself pre-approved for a home loan. To highlight its importance, take note that some home sellers would not even consider prospective buyers who do not have a mortgage preapproval making it a paramount requirement not only in negotiations but in buying homes as well.

Do the math before getting hung up on small price differences

More often than not, homebuyers—especially first-time homebuyers—tend to be a little myopic about their prospective real estate property insomuch that they would only look at the price without considering other factors. Sometimes, you need to consider every aspect of the deal before you even consider closing on it or overlooking it. There might be instances wherein small differences would actually mean you get a better property or a more flexible payment rate. In any case, you should do the math and consider the deal from all angles before accepting or rejecting an offer.

Base your offer on the home value and not the list price

Before pitching an offer for a prospective property, take a look at the recent sales in the neighborhood first. From there, you would get the necessary information to arm you in your negotiation endeavor. Keep in mind that homes priced at or below the market value are highly unlikely to budge on their asking price whereas those priced at above market value and have been in the market for a while would be more receptive to lower offers. However, do not immediately jump the gun on the negotiations and accompany your negotiation pitch with a market analysis first.

Be prepared to move fast

Most properties that go in the market tend to disappear as soon as they hit the listings—especially if they are in ideal neighborhoods and are priced reasonably. In a competitive market, keep in mind that your first offer SHOULD BE your best offer. You might never get another chance, so ensure what you offer would not only be persuasive but enticing enough as well.

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Home Selling Ventures: Four Signs a Home Buyer is Not Serious About Purchasing

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“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of a house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer and the house allows one to dream in peace.” -Gaston Bachelard

 

Selling your home can be a lengthy and exhausting process.

Although it is a worthy endeavor (and a lucrative one depending on how well you can inveigle your buyers in negotiations), it can often be frustrating and just a tad bit disappointing. This is particularly true if your real estate properties have been sitting for quite some time now without any real leads or prospects. Although the market will always have a stream of interested prospective homebuyers, the market is fraught with unreliable home buyers who have no intention of pushing through a sale. Regardless of robust the real estate market might be, if you are entertaining a potential buyer who has no real intention of pushing through a sale, you will inevitably be running headfirst into a wall. The venture itself is already a challenging one, add one potential homebuyer whose purchasing intent is rather ambiguous to that equation and you would have a recipe for disappointment.

As a home seller whose main goal is to succeed in selling your property, getting your hopes up to no avail can be pretty frustrating. Unfortunately, just because one prospective buyer showed enthusiasm and expressed their excitement about your property does not automatically mean that they would right away proceed with the deal with you. In every industry, there will always be a handful of so-called prospects who would do no more than raise your hopes up only to waste your time. Your job as a home seller is to sift them from potential buyers who are genuinely interested in your property. So, how do you determine whether the prospective buyer milling about in your Avida Towers Centera has a genuine intent in buying your property or not?

Well, here are some of the signs that a homebuyer is not serious about purchasing your property:

 

1.) They have just begun their search

The search for a perfect and ideal home is a long arduous press. In this regard, it is incredibly rare for a potential buyer to go with the first property they see. In fact, it typically takes a home buyer at least three months to buy a home or even just decide to take a look at it. Of course, as real estate property is a significant investment, they would most probably look at several houses before they even decide to buy. So, if they just started their search, it is hardly likely that you will get an offer.

2.)  They do not have agents

If a buyer comes knocking to your home without a real estate agent, they are not serious about buying a home just yet. Typically, the services of a real estate agent cost that buyer virtually nothing as their commissions are shouldered by the home seller. If a prospective buyer cannot even make the effort of enlisting the free service and expertise of a professional, then they are not motivated enough to buy a home.

3.) You meet them in open houses

It is  very unlikely for you to receive an offer from a buyer who you have picked out at an open house. While some of these prospective buyers are indeed looking for a home to buy, a majority of them are there with plans of buying a home still in the horizon–which means that they are not looking to buy anytime soon (or even in that year for that matter). Serious buyers would often commence their search online and if they are interested in a property, they would request for a private showing.

4.) Looking for homes sans a pre-approval from a lender

There is no need to elaborate this as it is very clear. You do not need to read between the lines when it comes to this sign. After all, a pre-approval would be the single and most reliable way to show a home seller that a buyer can afford to buy real estate property. Without one, they would not have any real indication and concrete proof that they can.

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Real Estate 101: The Top Five Red Flags for Homebuyers

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“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” –John Ed Pearce

 

The real estate market has never experienced a rising increase in demand as much as it did today.

While it may experience sporadic periods of highs and lows, the fact remains that more and more people are buying real estate in this decade than any other decade in history. Unfortunately, the resultant effects of this phenomenon can have positive and negative takeaways. For one, the robust real estate market would mean a healthy economy, on the other, however, it could open up the possibility of individuals who would try to leverage the market trend into their favor in the worse ways possible. As it is, the rise in demand for real estate properties would also mean a significant increase in home sellers who would try to sell their properties. However, with the real estate market rife with competition, how do these sellers ensure that their homes would potentially be the one you would select? How do they drive the deal home?

While some would just double their efforts in their endeavor to sell their home, some sellers would resort to less than favorable means in selling their homes. This does not mean that they would outright lie to you, but they would not tell you the entire truth about their homes or it might ruin their chances of striking a deal with you. Sellers who are eager to sell properties in challenging and even difficult communities would not always disclose everything to potential buyers. Unfortunately, getting a professional inspection of every house you tour is not exactly feasible or practical for your finances. Not to worry though, you just have to keep an eye out and be a little more thorough during the house tour. Be meticulous about the houses you inspect and narrow down your choices by doing your own pre-inspection.

Whether the houses you are looking to inspect are located in a lush neighborhood such as Garden Towers or somewhere a little more unassuming, here are some of the red flags you ought to look out for:

 

A major exodus from the neighborhood

Sure, one of the things that a home seller must highlight would be the curb appeal of their homes in order to attract prospective buyers. However, as a buyer, you should not let the visual appeal of the home’s exteriors keep you from examining what is down the street. If you notice that there are several other homes for sale or if nearby businesses have been vandalized or have closed down, electing to live there might not be such a good idea. Talk to your neighbors and ask them about the community. If everyone is looking to leave, you might want to take that as a signal that the home would potentially be a bad investment.

Bad maintenance

Another thing you should look out for is whether or not the home seller took care of their homes and took the necessary measures to ensure its proper upkeep and maintenance while they were still living there. If they horribly failed in this aspect, you might not want to push through with the deal with them. After all, if you can see the gutters with plants growing in them and grime on the home times, it would beg the question: What else did these homeowners neglect and overlook?

Bad smells

A home reeking with fetid smells is a home that has been neglected for far too long. Regardless of whether the smell is outside or inside, it would make you think what sort of surprises there would be in store for you on account of the grody smells. In any case, bad smells should be a huge red flag. However, you should also take into account if the homeowner took the extra measure of spraying their homes in huge amounts of Febreeze or by covering it in potpourri. If the house smells too fragrant and would border on cloying, the home seller is probably trying to mask the more noxious smells.

Fresh paint on only one wall

While it is recommended (at times, even necessary) for home sellers to paint their walls in neutral hues before selling them, there would be something terribly suspect if only one wall is covered and painted. Sure, fresh paint can really bring out the potential of drab walls and boring homes. However, they can also be used as a medium to conceal problems such as water damage, mold or mildew. If the room has strange smells or there are any visible stains in the ceilings or walls, you might want to refer to an inspector who can identify molds and leaks.

Faulty or old wiring

Sure, you are not exactly an electrician but it is best to ensure that the electrical wiring, as well as all the switches, are all in good working order. After all, you would not want to subject yourself to busted circuits, flickering lights, and outlets that do not power anything. If outlets are either warm or hot, there might be an underlying wiring problem which you might want a professional electrician to check.

 

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Exploring Business Locations in the Philippine Property Market

Location is critical to business operations. A great place can attract customers and clients. It perfectly displays products and services. It is accessible to the brand target market, partners, and staff. Considering the hundreds of new developments in the country, it can be a challenge to select a favorable location for an office or a shop.

Settling on the best workplace is imperative. The right business location in a property market adds to the business’ overall growth. Think of the structure of the building and the impact of the area on daily operations. These are the factors to consider when thinking of a business location.

Market Overview

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The Philippine Property Market is a growing industry. The country’s consistent macroeconomic policies and high levels of consumption make it one of the strongest performers in Asia’s economies. It’s real estate market regarding office retail, residential, and industrial sectors are expanding. According to Rick Santos, Chairman and CEO of Santos-Knight Frank (SKF), the investment inflow of 2017 created a positive ripple effect across the property sector. The market will perform even better once the government infrastructure projects are in full swing to create a conducive business environment.

Despite the optimism, vacancy in Metro Manila increased by 5 percent during the third quarter of the year 2017 due to the large volume of the additional stock. This is good news for startups and business owners looking for a place to settle. They can choose from the establishments and facilities of high-quality developments in the country.

Customer and Talent Proximity

Dwellers and opportunity-seekers of the North can choose from office spaces in Quezon City. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs and passionate muses can venture into leasing a working area in Makati City. Consider these offices below to discover what the Philippine real estate market has to offer when it comes to office spaces.

1. U.P. Ayala Land Technohub

Referred to as ‘Technohub,’ it is in the center of the country’s premier university for bright young minds. The development comes with facilities and amenities required by a firm drabbling in technology or science. It has a Tech Portal and a Retail Plaza.

2. U.P. Town Center Corporate Center

The expanse of the PEZA-certified office facility lies on Katipunan Avenue. It is part of the University Belt and located within Ayala’s shopping mall. It has access to several retail brands, popular restaurants, and services for workers and residents in the community.

3. Vertis North Corporate Center

The Corporate Center is the latest addition to the office centers in Quezon City. It is part of a community with mixed-use residences, hotel, and entertainment areas. Shops at Vertis North are available at near public transportation for the working class of the North.

4. 6750 Ayala Avenue

Those who value elegance, sophistication, and visibility can fit right in the topnotch office location of Makati. The 6750 building is right beside the highly-rated bistros, luxury boutiques, and serviced apartments. It complements the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the city through its serviced and virtual offices and meeting room facilities.

5. McKinley Exchange Corporate Center

The towering office stands in the corner of EDSA and McKinley Road in Makati City. Though not within the vicinity of Makati Central Business District (CBD), it still has direct access to the MRT station, bus stops, jeepney and shuttle terminals. Conducting business in the area makes it visible to thousands of passengers passing Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

6. Solaris One

The prime property along Dela Rosa Street is BPO-ready. It comes with high-end facilities, centralized chilled water system, high-speed large-capacity elevators, and above- grounds parking lots. It is close to the retail and dining establishments of People Support Center and Convergys One.

These office and retail spaces are in the busy areas of each city. They are close to potential buyers and highly-accessible through different modes of transportation. The hassle-free travel attracts customers and clients to the business. The same goes for promising talents. The short distance and travel time improves their productivity. Employees can provide high-quality work when they have good health and are in the excellent working environment.

Expandability and Equipment

The office space must not only focus on the present. It must also lean into the future. Business will grow and expand in the future. The office must be able to accommodate all the equipment, furniture, and staff it takes in overtime. It is also necessary to have space intended for clients. A room for meeting and transactions makes them comfortable and feel welcomed. At the same time, the location of the business must have ample parking space.

It is a must for a firm to have ample space for their equipment for production and provision of service. Apparatus and machinery must spread out in various rooms to avoid looking cluttered. The working area won’t appear unpleasant when supplies are in their proper places.

Monetary Inclusion

Never invest in office space when you don’t have enough budget for it. Spending beyond financial limits causes financial troubles later on. Ensure lease payments and other expenses fits budget without compromising its quality. There are hundreds to thousands of office spaces available in the Philippines to become the home of a startup or business organization.

The real estate sector of the Philippines continues to exhibit growth as more infrastructure projects are on its way. The demand for mobility, flexibility, and connectivity from freelancers will shape the future office launches in the country. Developers continue to seek opportunity in and out of Manila to supply the need of increasing occupancy rate from various sectors.

 

Send Me Your Location: Retail Spaces

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Commercial real estate varies from residential. The type and size of a business is a factor when looking into a potential commercial space. A small enterprise with limited inventory could settle in kiosks. Meanwhile, other firms may require spots in shopping malls or a free-standing structure.

There’s no need to rush when deciding on retail space. It’s much better to build a solid conclusion than a half-hearted decision. Below are pointers that can help one decide which is the best retail space for the business.

1. The space covers the business’s wants and needs.

Setting up a restaurant requires a huge floor area as it has a kitchen and a place for diners. A clothing store or fashion house at Solaris One may expect less than a restaurant. Meanwhile, a repair shop can do well with specific square footage especially when it doesn’t make stock items for sale. The size of the retail space will impact its price. It’s essential to note these details, especially when considering a budget.

Other than sticking to a budget, the potential of the business to expand is s factor to consider. The brand may attract customers that will boost sales and require an additional stock of merchandise, seating or service. The space must be enough to cover current needs, but it must also be flexible to allow expansion.

Lastly, the space must share the brand’s story. It must be customizable and ready for changes and renovations for owners and companies to convey their message to customers.

2. Customers and talents are within the area.

Knowing the brand’s target market provides an idea of the geographical location of potential buyers. If the space is in a place accessible to the target market, it gives them the convenience to avail the product or service. At the same time, consider the climate of the business community in the area. A community of supportive and growth-based entrepreneurs helps micro and small businesses thrive. Meanwhile, a competitive landscape is unhealthy for growing companies.

Future employees and staff must also be in mind when scouting for retail spaces. The ease of travel improves productivity at work. A workplace far from home results to tired and haggard talents. Their fresh energy gets worn out during the commute. When the retail space is near the skilled workers, the business gets the best out of its human capital.

3. The price of the property fits the budget.

Going for a retail space that is over the budget is overspending. It cancels the purpose of setting up a business – generate income to earn a profit. An area beyond financial limit causes troubles later on. Still, the space must be a high-quality retail space that suits the brand and enterprise.

4. Public transport and infrastructure are available.

The main concern when considering clients and staff is their convenience of travel. It’s a plus when the retail space is near different modes of transportation and government institutions vital to your operations. Moreover, it is also an advantage when Internet and telecommunication providers cover the business location. Since most transactions are online, the Internet connection will benefit operations by having a more extensive customer reach and streamlining business process.

5. There is space allocated for parking.

Most business owners forget to consider the need for parking spaces. Ample parking space is valuable for clients and people who are part of the company to prefer to reach the area through their vehicles. How hard is it for them to suitable parking space especially in a busy area such as a central business district. These people may choose a competitor with similar products or service because of the lack of space. Be it in front, back or beside the retail space, and the parking space must be accessible to clients.

6. The space must not have strings attached to it.

The full cost of the space comprises the rent, utilities, construction costs, moving expenses, and a list of other expenses that may not be obvious in the beginning. There may be costs associated with the move such as the restoration or remodeling of the space.

7. The lease terms and rental rates must be secure.

To get the best out of a lease contract, it must be subject to renewal. Any increase in rental rates must be subject to review by the landlord and the lessee. Furthermore, survey the rental price if it is the gross or net. Most figures are net. It only shows the base or the payable amount.

8. Furniture, fixture, and equipment is a must for business.

Their retail space must include furniture, fixture, and equipment since they produce products and offer services. Stocking these items in a corner contributes to an unpleasant environment. The retail space must be roomy for the bulky items. That is a property where rooms are not scarce is a keeper.

Retail Spaces Need the Time and Place to Come Through

The needs of the business entity as well as its customers and staff make up the factors to use as a guide when choosing a retail space. Besides these factors, the basics of deciding on real estate decisions such as lease terms, property price, additional expenses, as well as proximity to modes of transportation and infrastructure, affect the attractiveness of the space.

Note: This article was first published on May 5, 2016, as “Where Should You Locate Your Business?” It was revised and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Real Estate Investments: Four Factors and Aspects to Consider in Pricing a Home for Sale

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“The art of selling one house is different than the science of repeating it flawlessly over and over”-Chantel Ray

An excellent sentiment to keep in mind when it comes to selling homes is to price it right. As the maxim goes, if you price it right, it sells overnight. Should your price it wrong, then it stays on too long. With this in mind, giving your properties a fair selling price should be one of the significant considerations you should take into account. Although there is a myriad of factors that go into a buyer’s decision in closing a deal with a home seller such as the location and features of the home, the asking price of the property is of paramount consideration. However, how does one ensure that the home is priced just right? How do you come up with an asking price that would encourage a timely sale? Indeed, this has been a feat that has evaded even the most seasoned of home sellers as well as professional realtors. Considering that the real estate market is perpetually in an erratic state, coming up with an ideal price that would be a fair deal to both home buyer and seller as well as encourage a quick sale is something that would require years upon years of experience complemented with professional expertise—and even then, it does not always guarantee you an opportune sale.

Numerous studies have indicated that should a home remain on the market for quite a long time, there is a likely chance it would not fetch as much money as it would have when it finally does sell. This can be quite the predicament—especially if you have found yourself stuck with a property that would not sell because you priced it exorbitantly. For this reason, pricing a home correctly from the get-go is an imperative factor to consider. However, while accurately pricing your home to the dot is not easily done, it is very much doable. All you would need to do is to have an understanding as to how to go about the pricing process.

If you think you can con your prospective buyers into agreeing on a higher asking price, you may need one to reconsider that. Take note; your prospective buyers have all the access to a considerable amount of information about your home. With this type of information at their disposal, it will be implausible for a buyer to purchase a home at a price that is considered above market value. Unfortunately, quite a lot of sellers are under the impression that pricing a home higher would result in higher sales. Believing this sentiment could potentially be damaging to your revenue as the longer your home sits on the market, the more inclined you will be to reduce its price. In some cases, you might even be constrained to trimming it so that you can sell it. Pricing your homes right should be a vital consideration—regardless of whether you are selling a home or property in One Serendra or elsewhere. To ensure that value your home close to the appropriate asking price as you can, here are some of the factors you should consider:

1.) The condition of the market

Generally, before even thinking of selling a home, the standard practice is to take a long and meticulous look at the housing market. After all, if you do not scrutinize it well, you would not be able to come up with a realistic asking price. For some time, the real estate market has shown signs of improvement. But, do not let this be the sole basis of your asking price as over the years, there have also been several dips that might consequently result in more dips as time goes on. Selling on a slow real estate market climate means having to price your homes competitively—that is if you wish to move the house. Alternatively, you can bide your time and wait for things to improve. However, if the market does not recover, you would be compelled to pricing your home lower than what it would have fetched should you have begun at the outset.

2.) Compare sold properties

One aspect to consider when pricing your home right is to take a look at recently sold properties that are in your area. Apart from that, look for properties similar to yours and come up with a figure that would be both fair to you and your buyer. The population density of your area should be a consideration. If you live in a particularly populated city, your search should only be limited within a mile of your home’s location for recently sold homes.

3.) Consider current inventory

If you wish to have an approximate feel of how competitive the real estate market is, take a gander at the current home inventory in your area. If there are a plethora of houses similar to yours at the moment, you would need to price your home a little more aggressively to attract attention—particularly in a competitive market climate. However, if there are fewer homes for sale, you can price your homes a bit higher if you wish as there would be quite a number of people looking to buy. However, the main driving point for your asking price is to ensure that your home stands out from the other homes on the market. It should be distinctive and should attract attention.

4.) Compare active properties

Apart from taking a look at the overall home inventory in your area, another thing you should consider doing is to analyze other properties that are currently for sale while you, yourself are selling. Homes that are already on the market have already gone through the very same processes you subject your homes go through. With this in mind, the prices of these homes would give you a rough estimation of how much your asking price should be. If you priced your homes higher than comparable homes, you run the risk of the house sitting and not selling. As a result, your home would be less valuable.

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Rental Investments: Five Excellent Tips to Prepare for A Rental

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“To stand out, you just need to do a few things others are not willing to do.” –Michael Hyatt

There has been no question that renting out one of your unused properties is an excellent avenue for real estate investment. However, with a myriad of rental properties in almost every nook and cranny in the city (from condo units in Avida Towers Centera to apartment units elsewhere), how do you ensure that your rental property makes the cut and gets selected? Remember, every single day that you have a vacancy at your rental property is considered a loss of potential profits. However, while tenancy is mostly a hit or miss thing and has more to do with your luck in finding tenants than anything else, there are ways of ensuring that your rental properties would entice tenants to rent it out.

Apart from being situated in proximity to schools, offices and entertainment hubs, it pays to prepare your rental properties for occupancy by tenants. So, if you have been thinking of renting out any of your properties, here are some tips that would not only help you navigate through the process but make it a bit easier as well.

1.) Start the process at least six weeks out

Of course, if you are getting ready for tenancy, a little work goes a long way to ensure that the home is ready for occupants. Apart from ensuring that the home is rental-ready, you would also want to present it at its best before you even start giving your prospective tenants a tour of the home. Take note; most tenants start scouring the neighborhood for potential homes at least a month prior to their move. So, start at the earliest possible time.

2.) Spruce it up

Of course, part of beautifying your rental properties as well as making an excellent first impression on your prospective tenants is to make sure that the unit you are presenting to them is clean. Apart from cleanliness, you should also invest a little in giving it a little touch-up. Spend some time and money in applying a fresh coat of paint on the walls, incorporate fresh flowers into the home, get rid of the clutter and organize. Remember, tenants, are more inclined to rent a unit that is not only well-prepared but clean as well.

3.) Change your insurance

Whatever existing policy you have might not be sufficient enough to cover you should you become a landlord. So, before signing a lease, it is best if you find time to down with your insurance agent and discuss what available coverage options you have. Ask them about their landlord’s policy which is also known as a dwelling policy and update your existing coverage.

4.) Do not overlook legal technicalities

Before drafting your lease contract, research the existing laws of your area first. Chances are you would be required to obtain licenses and permits. Furthermore, you would also need to undergo an inspection. In most areas, tenancy is considered a business which would inevitably require a license from you—regardless of whether it is only for a single property or a series of properties. Learn the requirements of being a landlord and tenancy before renting out your home to mitigate the risk of getting into legal snarls.

5.) Decide if you will accept pets

Know that even though you will have more prospective clients should you accept their furry friends as well, there will also be some tenants who would not be so receptive to sharing a roof with four-footed creatures. However, ensure that you and your tenant are on the same page when it comes to pet policies. It would not hurt to make sure that he or she is a responsible pet owner as well. Your pet policies should be in place in order to prevent costly damage, noise and other pet-related problems. Moreover, you can then decide whether you will charge pet rent or fees.

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Sustainability in Urban Design

It is not enough for a place to be habitable. It also needs to be sustainable.

Urban design is the process, design, and organization of public space, transportation systems, and open space. With half of the Earth’s population crowding in cities, urban design needs to take a hard look at its mechanisms. Each city must commit and choose sustainable development. The Philippines in terms of population and the economy exponentially grows each year. But, the land areas of its cities remain the same. The same rings true in other cities across the globe. Three (almost four) billion people stay in these urban areas. Therefore, the role of urban design has a significant impact in today’s contemporary way of life.

According to a United Nations’ (UN) report, 60% of the Earth’s population will crowd cities by 2030. This is not good news for various reasons.

Millenials are slow to pick up the traces of needing change concerning their way of living. Thus, it is better for the current millennia to have the collective movement of individuals, industries, and countries to commit to change. The foundation of inhabitation – the Earth, is ruined and its cries are getting louder. The natural structure of planet is sacrificed to have the luxurious comfort of the modern life. The towering skyscrapers, concrete housing units, and asphalt plazas are chosen over the lush greeneries and the natural wonders of the world.

Urban Development

Urban development is a perennial threat to nature. Fortunately, developers like Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), considers the site’s ecosystem in their planning and design. Bobby Dy coins the term “eco-efficient.” It is a simple yet effective word that summarizes the purpose of their city districts. Natural resources or the natural state of the land area should not be sacrificed because of urban design and development. ALI patterns their design to the area’s original state.

The best example of eco-efficiency is their dynamic suburb in the South, Nuvali. Nuvali has a long stretch of green grass park and open spaces. The structure mixes modern suburban living with green zones and forestry. It also encourages recreation and outdoor activities which are refreshing for the modern dwellers.

Organization and Open Spaces

Although aesthetic plays a major role in urban setting, it is important for a developer to consider general public interest and not be biased towards age and way of living. When the city or structure is open to everyone, the need to have access to additional public infrastructure is removed. The environment becomes inclusive and inclined to only one goal – providing for the years to come.

Ayala Land is best known for their wholesome urban design. The company follows its focus areas as a guide during planning – resilience, pedestrian and transit connectivity, eco-efficiency and local economic development.

Their latest land developments incorporate wide spaces and parks. Having these spaces encourages time off the digital world and physical activity. It also lessens the dependence on vehicles as these places are conducive to walking. Most importantly, it discourages cul-de-sacs which can be rampant in urban areas. The design also creates low-carbon cities because they become walkable and mass transit-oriented. This is much more sustainable and healthier for the people. It also gives a high quality of life to residents.

Economic Vibrancy

A thing, structure or endeavor that is sustainable is said to solve today’s problems while also providing for the problems of the future. Generations to come should meet their own needs using these structures and environment-friendly solutions. Thus, it should be an enabling environment.

Rapid urbanization puts pressure on resources. Densely-packed cities can lack sources of fresh water supply and strain the living environment and public health. During planning, local and small-scale businesses are heavily considered. The shops and stores should be strategically placed so they may contribute to poverty reduction. There should also be designated spaces for public utility and health services.

Cloverfield, an ALI development in the North, is an example of a well-planned community that employs living, retail, and health. The development has a residential tower, shopping mall, park and a hospital – all within walking distance.

Well-planned public spaces commune communities and people together. Physical and cultural activities, recreation and play, are also encouraged. The spaces restore a sense of place, identity, and pride in an area, and play a significant part in attracting businesses and jobs. Thus, poverty is reduced.

Technology has picked up speed on constructing megacities, but it has not made low-carbon cities. Local and international urban development still have a long way to go. Choosing to be sustainable goes back to planning, where all the aspect of the building is considered. When the vision for the future is clear, urban design will manifest through eco-efficient development.